April 5, 2017

It’s Not Rude to Honk

I was exhausted from vomiting and wiped out from the 100 degree heat. I tried to rest my head on the window in the backseat, but it was impossible to sleep. The jarring from the bumpy roads and traffic was bad enough. But the incessant honking of passing cars ensured I wasn’t going to catch any shut eye!

This most recent trip to India had really taken its toll, and as I tried to convalesce on my ride from Bangalore up to Shimoga to visit Comeback Ministries’ new home, the constant beeping of horns began to really annoy me.

You see, in India, it’s not rude to honk your horn. In fact, it’s a courtesy. You’re simply letting fellow drivers know you’re approaching, lest they hit you in their lane meandering.

This practice virtually eliminates the need for review mirrors. There’s simply no need to look around, no need to crane your neck and check your blind spot. If a car were coming, the driver would have let you know.

I noted that many of the “review mirrors” in the cars we rode in were not even positioned to get a rear view.

Since it was clear I wasn’t going to sleep (or even relax), I began to wonder what would happen if—when I returned home to the U.S. and my little Toyota Corolla—I began driving using this method. What if I aligned my review mirror such that I could check my lipstick and I began honking at every car I came upon?

At first, the image was humorous, but the more I thought it through, the more I wondered if I could navigate using sound alone.

When I drive, mirrors are my friends. They alert me to the guy passing me—even when he’s on my right. They let me know when some woman is sitting on my bumper. They even alert me to the cop who just turned onto the road behind me.

Could I drive by only listening?

Probably not. Especially since Americans don’t have this custom of honking at one another. It’s the honking that makes the system work, right? Bring an Indian to the States, and he probably couldn’t drive by sound, either, since there’s virtually none.

At that point in my musings, God brought to mind II Cor. 5:7, “For we live by faith, not by sight.”

While I like all my visual cues letting me know where I’m going, Christ often asks us to “drive” when we can’t see the road ahead.

Thankfully, there are days when we get to take the scenic route, enjoying extravagant displays of His handiwork. We hold a perfect newborn or find true love. We marvel at the height of a mountain or can almost taste the pink cotton candy clouds of a sunset. These days assure us of God’s goodness and give us strength to carry on.

Other days, it seems the darkness may swallow us. Conditions seem ominous and the road doesn’t appear to be traveled by anyone else. When we can’t see any signs, we must listen intently for His still small voice guiding and directing.

I’m usually tempted to pull over and put it in park, if you know what I mean. I’d like to throw in the towel, cry “uncle” and wait for roadside assistance.

But Jesus said, “…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29b)

Believing in Jesus when you can see His nail-pierced hands is easy. Believing in Him 2,000 years later takes faith.

Believing God’s “got this” when everything is going your way, when you’re driving serenely along a garden path headed exactly where you always wanted to go is simple. Trusting God when your life appears to be spinning out of control and all your hopes and dreams are suddenly in your rearview mirror requires faith.

It is when I must strain the most to hear God’s voice, when I can rely on no other senses to discern His presence, when I’m most desperate for Him to show up, that my faith is proven real.

And it is then that He proves Himself faithful. Every time.

This month, as you pray for The Boaz Project, please remember to:

Pray for orphans who have a hard time seeing God’s discernable plan for their good. Many have known only trauma and find it difficult to hear the One who calls to them.

Lift up the Russian Christian Foster Home, which has just added two more children! Ask God to help all members of the family adjust to the new additions and for His love to be palpable in their home.

Thank God for a smooth inspection by the Department of Women and Children for Comeback Ministries’ new facility.

Ask God for the land which may be granted to our partners in Kenya for a new girls’ home. This new facility is badly needed in order to offer girls an alternate to the streets.

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Because God knew that abandoned children would need help to survive, He tells us to actively meet the needs of orphans in James 1:27.

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When you choose to partner with The Boaz Project, you'll restore hope, ensure a brighter future through education, and share the love of Jesus with children who desperately need it.

Just imagine the impact you can have—from saving a child from the horrors of the streets to helping them become community leaders, educators, and nurturers of the next generation.

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Orphan Advocate Training Certification Levels

Level 1

Learn about the mission and vision of The Boaz Project through activities such as watching an Encounter webinar, exploring our website, and following us on social media. You will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with your Orphan Advocate Training Coach, who will help you as you go through the levels.


Level 2

Gain more insight into the realities of the orphan crisis through reading "The Orphan’s Abba" and visiting The Boaz Project YouTube page. You will also meet The Boaz Project staff.


Level 3

Grow in your understanding of the orphan crisis, meet some houseparents by reading their stories, and create your own "Pick 2" with options like watching a movie and completing a creative project utilizing your unique skill set.


Level 4

Enhance your knowledge of healthy attachments for orphans, watch a webinar about Eastern Europe’s institutional orphanage system, and visit the Boaz office virtually or in person.


Level 5

Utilize all of the knowledge you have gained throughout training to develop methods based on your personal experience to share the mission and vision of The Boaz Project with others. Read a portion of our first level Houseparent Trauma Training and use your unique skills to impact orphans with a special project. Completing Level 5 gives you the option to apply to become an OAT Coach and/or a Regional Coordinator for The Boaz Project.

FAQ

Do I have to live near Greenwood, Indiana to complete the training?

No! This certification is intentionally created to allow opportunities for anyone in any location to fully participate.




How much of a time commitment is it?

This is completely up to you. The entire process is self-directed. There are no deadlines, and you may take as much or as little time as you need to complete each course.




Can I do this training with my spouse? Or a friend?

Yes! Going through the training with a spouse or friend can provide accountability and motivation. As you progress, you may be able to accomplish more together!




How much will it cost?

All Orphan Advocate Training courses are free to join! While you may choose to spend money while completing some projects, there are only minimal costs involved (such as a book or a few supplies) depending on which course you choose to do.




Is there an age requirement to become a Certified Orphan Advocate Trainee?

This would be answered on a case-by-case basis. This would also be open to middle schoolers or high schoolers looking to complete volunteer hours (i.e. National Honor Society) or build college applications. We always encourage young people to be involved if they feel led by God to do so!




What if I don’t have any social media accounts?

We will adjust your requirements to accommodate you and provide different opportunities to engage.




If I complete the five-level Orphan Advocate Training Certification, can I put it on my resume or LinkedIn profile?

Yes! When you complete each level, you will receive a certification that you can use to enhance your professional profile and to show involvement in community service.




Will I be able to get a signed letter to verify my volunteer hours?

We are sorry that we cannot verify volunteer hours that are done outside of the office or an event due to the fact that these hours are not supervised. However, we can write about the quality of work that was done, your commitment level, and the training courses achieved. We can also say that your self-reported, unsupervised hours fit into the typical number of hours that are usual for that course.




How do I get started?

If you think you would like to begin Orphan Advocate Training, please complete the form below, and you’ll be assigned an OAT Coach. Once your coach reviews your information, he/she will send you an email with your next steps!




Who do I contact if I have any other questions?

Please complete the form below or contact OAT@boazproject.org with any questions.

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